Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This Sermon deals with the issue of self induced suffering, and God’s forgiveness toward His people.

Suffering Series #1


II KINGS 5:15-27



Union Baptist Church of Allentown


“Be Careful How You Get What You Want” – II Kings 5:15-27

Introduction: The person of God must develop a healthy understanding that the process of “becoming” is a process that cannot be completed alone. All of us must come to grips with the fact that God was, is, and shall ever be a relational God. In the process of spiritual growth, there is the rule of relationship. One cannot become without another’s assistance. It is evidenced most clearly upon our entrance into this world. Without the nurturing, compassion, concern, cooperation, and care of a parent, or guardian, no child would grow to become an adult. There is a law of relationship that leads to development. It is the same in the Body of Christ. It is a Body. It is not a group that merely consists of individuals, but it is a collective Body. Therefore when the hands operate, the Body is in operation. When the eyes are functioning, the entire Body is functioning. Where the feet go, the whole Body also goes. The theme of relationship, and unity bode throughout the Scriptures, to remind us that we are not just Christians. For to be a Christian is to be an individual, but we are members of the Body of Christ. A Body that is to be synchronized in its movement, thought, and activity… But the problem is that we still are individuals, with our own thought processes, with our own idiosyncrasies, and with our own desires, and our own methods of living life.

The issue before us this morning that I wish to raise through this text is that within this Body of Christ, and the community of faith lies an undercurrent that will cause us to falter in our faith if we are not careful. In this era of dispensation that we are a part, there is a tendency in the Body to develop a misconception about Body life. That misconception is that members of the Body of Christ are not supposed to suffer, and that our great God is going to allow us to meander through this life carefree and comfortable regardless of our behavior. The Devil is a liar! We must begin to recognize first of all that suffering is a part of Body life. Now, we need to know that there are many different types of suffering that are just as diverse in terms of their causation. For the simple navigation of the vicissitudes of life will sometimes cause us to suffer. The loss of a treasured and trusted friend or love one will cause us to suffer. The loss of a relationship will surely sadden us. The experience of an unexpected and extreme encounter with nature has caused millions to suffer since the catastrophe of Katrina last year. But this morning, I want to focus on a more common cause of commotion, and calamity in our lives. And that is self-induced, or self inflicted suffering because of selfishly directed action.

You see, because the fact is that much of the mess that we must manage materializes because of our inability to become submitted to The Master. Now, if you’ll just give me a few minutes to peruse this passage, I wish to point out some problems that we prayerfully can avoid, and thus preclude some of the suffering in our lives.

The context of this text is found in chapter four and five of II Kings. For it is chapter four that we are introduced to the focus of this message. His name is Gehazi. Gehazi means valley of vision. Now, Gehazi was the servant of Elisha, who was the servant and student of the great prophet Elijah. And in chapter four, we see the unfolding of the ministry of Elisha. There we see the miracle of the widow and the oil. There we witness the miracle of the Shunamite woman’s son. But there is some interesting interaction going on in chapter four between Elisha, and his servant Gehazi. The book says that there was a great relationship between these men. Such a relationship that when Elisha was in need of counsel, he relied on his servant Gehazi. Listen to the text, in verse 12

“And he said unto his servant, Gehazi. Verse 13 “and he said unto him (Gehazi), say unto her”… verse 14 “Elisha asked Gehazi “what then is to be done unto her”. This was a real relationship. There was trust involved. There was understanding involved. There was love involved. So much so, that in verse 27, when this same Shunammite woman came to let Elisha know that her son was dead, it was Gehazi who pushed her away from Elisha. This relationship was one greater than servant / master; this was a relationship of father / son. In verse 29 Elisha tells his servant/son to go ahead and lay his staff of the head of the dead boy, and after Elisha had worked a miracle and raised the dead boy to life, the first person he called upon was not the mother or the father, but he called Gehazi.

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